The Staatsorchester Braunschweig (Brunswick State Orchestra) is one of the oldest orchestras in the culture world. It has formed in 1587 as the Hofkapelle of the Duke Julius of Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel. The development into a modern opera - and symphony orchestra can be illustrated by its course of historical context, in which the orchestra is connected with names such as Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz, Carl Heinrich Graun, Louis Spohr, Felix Mendelssohn, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss, who were Kapellmeisters or conductors of their own works in Brunswick.
The Herzoglichen Hofkapelle became in 1918 the Orchester des Braunschweigischen Landestheaters and after World War II Brunswick the country had lost its state independence and had risen in the state of Lower Saxony, including the Staatsorchester Braunschweig.
In addition to participation in opera performances, the Staatsorchester Braunschweig (with 85 members now) has an important role in the concert area. The series of ten symphony concerts at the City Hall with more than 40,000 visitors annually in Lower Saxony is without competition. Special concerts and a chamber music series of the members of the Staatsorchester Braunschweig enrich the music life in Brunswick. Moreover, the extension of the concert activities and participation in music festivals outside of Braunschweig have become in the recent past an important field of activity. Under the direction of Stefan Soltesz, the 1988 successor to the longtime musical director Heribert Esser, the orchestra began recording and production of sound recordings. The recordings of the orchestra now include the 9 symphonies of L.v. Beethoven under the baton of the honorary conductor Carl Melles, and the 4 Johannes Brahms symphonies conducted by Philippe Auguin. Jonas Alber, with 29 years of recent general music director of the State Theater, became in 1988 principal conductor of the orchestra. He continued CD-production with recordings of the symphonies of Robert Schumann and Jean Sibelius. Since 2007, Alexander Joel is General Music Director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig.